Teen Sailor Feared Lost in Indian Ocean

Rescuers are racing with time to reach a 16-year-old American girl who is trying to make a trip around the world after her boat sent emergency signals on Thursday while traversing a stormy part of the Indian Ocean.

Maritime authorities in Australia have sent three rescue ships to check on Abby Sunderland, whose emergency beacons started sending signals shortly after talking to her family in Los Angeles.

A plane is also being sent to Sunderland’s last known location, which is between Africa and Australia. However, authorities said it might take at least four hours for the plane to reach Sunderland, who has lost contact with authorities since the emergency beacons in her boat Wild Eyes went off.

Christian Pinkston, a family spokesman, said Sunderland reported encountering large waves but did not appear in trouble when she last called home.

Sunderland started her circumnavigation attempt on January 23. She was trying to become the second member of her family after her older brother Zac to hold the record of the youngest to sail around the world non-stop. She ran into equipment trouble in April and was forced to stop, losing her record attempt, but continued with her journey anyway.